NASHUA, N.H (WHDH) - The mother of a missing 5-year-old New Hampshire boy and her boyfriend denied in court on Wednesday that they told relatives and friends to lie about his whereabouts as law enforcement officials continue their frantic search for the child.

Danielle Dauphinais, 35, and 30-year-old Joseph Stapf, both of Merrimack, appeared from jail via video and pleaded not guilty in Hillsborough County Superior Court South to charges of witness tampering and child endangerment.

Dauphinais and Stapf were arrested in New York over the weekend and extradited to New Hampshire earlier this week.

The State Department of Children, Youth and Families reported Elijah Lewis missing last week, and officials initially said that he had not been seen in six months, but investigators on Tuesday announced that they now believe the boy was last seen at his home sometime within the last 30 days.

Elijah Lewis

Dauphinais and Stapf are accused of asking relatives to lie about Lewis and where he was living, knowing that child protection service workers were searching for the boy, authorities said. They also allegedly violated a duty of care, protection, or support for Lewis.

The boy’s uncle, Randy Stewart, spoke to reporters after the arraignment and urged Dauphinais to cooperate with detectives so Lewis can be tracked down.

“He’s 5 years old. He doesn’t deserve this. He deserves to have a shot,” Stewart said.

Lewis’ last known address was on Sunset Drive in Merrimack, where crews are scouring the woods and nearby lakes for him.

A judge ordered Dauphinais held without bail.

Anyone with information on Elijah’s whereabouts is asked to contact the Merrimack Police Department’s Crimeline at 603-424-2424 or New Hampshire State Police Communications at 603-223-4381.

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